Markets in everything: prescription drugs

NHS patients are being put at risk because profiteering pharmacists are selling prescription drugs to Europe.

The fall in the pound re the euro has made things worse but:

Richard Ascroft, director of corporate affairs at drug maker Lilly UK, said: \’We are definitely concerned about this. Drug prices in the UK are among the lowest in Europe for a number of reasons and this has created opportunities for export trading.

Quite. The NHS fixes drug prices. Some would say it\’s use of their buying bulk to get better deals. Others might say it\’s bureaucratic fiat insisting that prices are below their market clearing prices. The effect?

Unscrupulous speculators cashing in on the weak pound have created a shortage of at least 40 drugs, a Daily Mail investigation has found.

They include treatments for cancer, high blood pressure, Parkinson\’s and high cholesterol.

Same old, same old though. Set prices below market levels and you get shortages. One of these iron laws you see.

5 thoughts on “Markets in everything: prescription drugs”

  1. The funny thing is, some NHS trusts have been selling drugs abroad, hoping to make a profit. They hope this will allow them to spend more overall which will offset the fact that some people won’t be able to get their drugs on the NHS.

  2. I did this one a couple of days ago.

    The short answer is, the drugs companies could (if they wanted) just drop the prices at which they offer drugs to European customers, which would lead to the same end result, problem solved (i.e. it was never a problem in the first place).

  3. has anyone proved that the UK is short of supplies of these 40 drugs….I wonder if viagra is on the list..”people put at risk! bah the only risk is that if people read the Mail for prolonged periods they inevitably go stark staring mad vv the Grauniad

  4. I’ve read the Grauniad for about 20 years and there’s no tropical fish in my underpants. If anything it’s Private Eye that has made me raving mad as they reveal the same old nepotism, swindling and theft up and down the country and we are all still sitting here, taking it up the ringer.

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